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Genesis 29

29
Jacob Meets Rachel
1#Jdg 6:3; 6:33Then Jacob went on his journey and came into the land of the people of the east. 2#Ge 24:11; Ex 2:15–16As he looked, he saw a well in the field and three flocks of sheep lying by it, for out of that well the flocks were watered. A large stone was on the well’s opening. 3When all the flocks were gathered there, the shepherds rolled the stone from the well’s opening, watered the sheep, then put the stone back on the well’s opening in its place.
4#Ge 28:10; 27:43Jacob said to them, “My brothers, where are you from?”
And they said, “We are from Harran.”
5#Ge 24:24; 24:29Then he said to them, “Do you know Laban the son of Nahor?”
And they said, “We know him.”
6He said to them, “Is he well?”
And they said, “He is well, and here is Rachel his daughter coming with the sheep.”
7He said, “Since it is yet midday, it is not the time that the livestock should be gathered together. Water the sheep, and go and feed them.”
8They said, “We cannot until all the flocks are gathered together and the stone is rolled from the well’s opening. Then we may water the sheep.”
9While he was still speaking with them, Rachel came with her father’s sheep, for she kept them. 10#Ex 2:17When Jacob saw Rachel the daughter of Laban his mother’s brother and the sheep of Laban his mother’s brother, Jacob went near and rolled the stone from the well’s opening and watered the flock of Laban his mother’s brother. 11#Ge 33:4; 43:30; 45:2Jacob kissed Rachel and wept aloud. 12#Ge 24:28; 13:8Jacob told Rachel that he was her father’s relative and that he was Rebekah’s son. Then she ran and told her father.
13#Ge 24:29When Laban heard the news of Jacob his sister’s son, he ran to meet him and embraced him and kissed him and brought him to his house. Then Jacob told Laban all these things. 14#Ge 2:23; Jdg 9:2Laban said to him, “Surely you are my bone and my flesh.”
And he stayed with him for a month. 15Laban said to Jacob, “Since you are my relative, should you therefore serve me for nothing? Tell me, what shall your wages be?”
Jacob Marries Leah and Rachel
16Now Laban had two daughters. The name of the older was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel. 17#Ge 12:11Leah’s eyes were tender, but Rachel was beautiful in form and appearance. 18#Hos 12:12; Ge 31:41Jacob loved Rachel, so he said, “I will serve you seven years for Rachel your younger daughter.”
19Laban said, “It is better that I give her to you than that I should give her to another man. Stay with me.” 20#Hos 12:12So Jacob served seven years for Rachel, and they seemed to him but a few days because of the love he had for her.
21#Jdg 15:1Then Jacob said to Laban, “Give me my wife, for my days are fulfilled, so that I may have relations with her.”
22Laban gathered together all the men of the place and prepared a feast. 23But in the evening he took Leah his daughter and brought her to Jacob, and Jacob had relations with her. 24#Ge 30:9–12Laban gave Zilpah his maid to his daughter Leah for a maidservant.
25In the morning Jacob discovered it was Leah, and he said to Laban, “What is this you have done to me? Did I not serve you for Rachel? Why then have you tricked me?”
26Then Laban said, “It is not the custom in our country to marry off the younger before the firstborn. 27#Jdg 14:12Fulfill the period of seven days for this one, and we will give you the other also in return for serving me another seven years.”
28Jacob did so and completed her week. Then Laban gave him Rachel his daughter as his wife also. 29Laban gave Bilhah his maidservant to Rachel his daughter to be her maid. 30#Ge 31:41; 29:18So Jacob also had relations with Rachel, and he loved Rachel more than Leah and served Laban another seven years.
Jacob’s Children
31#Dt 21:15; Ge 30:22When the Lord saw that Leah was unloved, He opened her womb, but Rachel was barren. 32#Ex 4:31; Dt 26:7Leah conceived and gave birth to a son, and she called his name Reuben, for she said, “Surely the Lord has looked upon my affliction. Now therefore my husband will love me.”
33#Ge 34:25She conceived again and gave birth to a son and said, “Because the Lord has heard that I was unloved, He has therefore given me this son also.” Then she called his name Simeon.
34#Ge 49:5–7She conceived again and gave birth to a son and said, “Now this time my husband will be joined to me, because I have borne him three sons.” Therefore his name was called Levi.
35#Mt 1:2She conceived again and gave birth to a son, and she said, “Now I will praise the Lord!” Therefore she called his name Judah. Then she stopped giving birth.
29
Jacob Arrives at Paddan-Aram
1Then Jacob hurried on, finally arriving in the land of the east. 2He saw a well in the distance. Three flocks of sheep and goats lay in an open field beside it, waiting to be watered. But a heavy stone covered the mouth of the well.
3It was the custom there to wait for all the flocks to arrive before removing the stone and watering the animals. Afterward the stone would be placed back over the mouth of the well. 4Jacob went over to the shepherds and asked, “Where are you from, my friends?”
“We are from Haran,” they answered.
5“Do you know a man there named Laban, the grandson of Nahor?” he asked.
“Yes, we do,” they replied.
6“Is he doing well?” Jacob asked.
“Yes, he’s well,” they answered. “Look, here comes his daughter Rachel with the flock now.”
7Jacob said, “Look, it’s still broad daylight—too early to round up the animals. Why don’t you water the sheep and goats so they can get back out to pasture?”
8“We can’t water the animals until all the flocks have arrived,” they replied. “Then the shepherds move the stone from the mouth of the well, and we water all the sheep and goats.”
9Jacob was still talking with them when Rachel arrived with her father’s flock, for she was a shepherd. 10And because Rachel was his cousin—the daughter of Laban, his mother’s brother—and because the sheep and goats belonged to his uncle Laban, Jacob went over to the well and moved the stone from its mouth and watered his uncle’s flock. 11Then Jacob kissed Rachel, and he wept aloud. 12He explained to Rachel that he was her cousin on her father’s side—the son of her aunt Rebekah. So Rachel quickly ran and told her father, Laban.
13As soon as Laban heard that his nephew Jacob had arrived, he ran out to meet him. He embraced and kissed him and brought him home. When Jacob had told him his story, 14Laban exclaimed, “You really are my own flesh and blood!”
Jacob Marries Leah and Rachel
After Jacob had stayed with Laban for about a month, 15Laban said to him, “You shouldn’t work for me without pay just because we are relatives. Tell me how much your wages should be.”
16Now Laban had two daughters. The older daughter was named Leah, and the younger one was Rachel. 17There was no sparkle in Leah’s eyes,#29:17 Or Leah had dull eyes, or Leah had soft eyes. The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain. but Rachel had a beautiful figure and a lovely face. 18Since Jacob was in love with Rachel, he told her father, “I’ll work for you for seven years if you’ll give me Rachel, your younger daughter, as my wife.”
19“Agreed!” Laban replied. “I’d rather give her to you than to anyone else. Stay and work with me.” 20So Jacob worked seven years to pay for Rachel. But his love for her was so strong that it seemed to him but a few days.
21Finally, the time came for him to marry her. “I have fulfilled my agreement,” Jacob said to Laban. “Now give me my wife so I can sleep with her.”
22So Laban invited everyone in the neighborhood and prepared a wedding feast. 23But that night, when it was dark, Laban took Leah to Jacob, and he slept with her. 24(Laban had given Leah a servant, Zilpah, to be her maid.)
25But when Jacob woke up in the morning—it was Leah! “What have you done to me?” Jacob raged at Laban. “I worked seven years for Rachel! Why have you tricked me?”
26“It’s not our custom here to marry off a younger daughter ahead of the firstborn,” Laban replied. 27“But wait until the bridal week is over; then we’ll give you Rachel, too—provided you promise to work another seven years for me.”
28So Jacob agreed to work seven more years. A week after Jacob had married Leah, Laban gave him Rachel, too. 29(Laban gave Rachel a servant, Bilhah, to be her maid.) 30So Jacob slept with Rachel, too, and he loved her much more than Leah. He then stayed and worked for Laban the additional seven years.
Jacob’s Many Children
31When the Lord saw that Leah was unloved, he enabled her to have children, but Rachel could not conceive. 32So Leah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Reuben,#29:32 Reuben means “Look, a son!” It also sounds like the Hebrew for “He has seen my misery.” for she said, “The Lord has noticed my misery, and now my husband will love me.”
33She soon became pregnant again and gave birth to another son. She named him Simeon,#29:33 Simeon probably means “one who hears.” for she said, “The Lord heard that I was unloved and has given me another son.”
34Then she became pregnant a third time and gave birth to another son. He was named Levi,#29:34 Levi sounds like a Hebrew term that means “being attached” or “feeling affection for.” for she said, “Surely this time my husband will feel affection for me, since I have given him three sons!”
35Once again Leah became pregnant and gave birth to another son. She named him Judah,#29:35 Judah is related to the Hebrew term for “praise.” for she said, “Now I will praise the Lord!” And then she stopped having children.